Books, Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Works Published, Writing

Rewind Interview with Writer, Poet, and Author Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha #amwriting #interview #nonfiction


Good morning! Welcome to my  “Rewind Interview” with Jacqueline Oby – Ikocha of A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales.  

Jacqueline was my first interview ever and a successful one. She is an amazing writer, poet, and blogger. If you haven’t read her poetry book yet, please see below. Also check out her YouTube videos full of wisdom. 

This same interview will also post on The Go Dog Go Cafe, an awesome community for baristas of the site and writers who want to share their work there too. 

Make sure to visit the Cafe and keep up with my weekly Tuesday Interviews. Every second week I do a ‘Rewind Interview,’ someone I’ve interviewed in the past. This week should be an interview of a Barista at the Cafe, but I have been too busy with other projects to put the interview together. Please expect a new interview next week!


Jacqueline 3
Jacqueline Oby – Ikocha

“Personality wise, I would describe myself as a simple, deep-thinking, friendly, inquisitive, and vivacious human with multiple layers which baffle me at certain times” – Jacqueline Oby- Ikocha


1. Please Tell Us About Yourself.

My name is Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha. I’m a Nigerian-born, Dubai (UAE) resident, of Igbo heritage. The Igbo’s are a hardworking, industrious, nomadic and proud tribe of Nigeria whom can be found in almost every nook and cranny of the world, even in places that you would least expect to find them. We strive to thrive wherever we are found.

Personality wise, I would describe myself as a simpledeep thinkingfriendlyinquisitive and vivacious human with multiple layers that baffle me at certain times.

I’m an ambivert, a people person, an outspoken, and focused woman. I can own up to being a loyal and upright person and you can take my word to the bankHard work doesn’t scare me. I truly believe in encouraging others to be the best that they can be. I’m also a wife, a mother, a writer, a perpetual learner, a life-enthusiast and a die-hard optimist. I don’t believe in the word impossible.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and/or Blogging?

I actually have no conscious date as to when I started scribbling. I use the word scribbling because I would write drama series at a very young age and designate my siblings to roles that I deemed fit. I was both the story writer, the film director, and everything in-between. Sometimes my siblings fell out with me because they weren’t particularly enthused about one role or the other.

However, I consciously started taking my writing seriously and away from the realm of a hobby two years ago. My venture into blogging started on May 6, 2015, as I searched for areas to help harness my writing and opportunities to interact with like-minded people.


“As some people resort to drink or other vices of choice, writing is my vice, which is only possibly matched by reading” – Jacqueline Oby – Ikocha


4. What does writing/poetry mean to you? Why do you write?

I write for vision and clarity. I process things better when I write. I write to share thoughts that I may ordinarily not give voice to. I write to deal with issues that bother me. As some people resort to drink or other vices of choice, writing is my vice, which is only possibly matched by reading. I wouldn’t know how else to be.

My reason for writing is so strong, a lot of times, when I need my husband to understand a point that I’m probably not expressing vocally as well as I should, I write him a letter.

My heart has known peace through my writing. Some of the turbulence I experienced earlier in life have been manageable due to writing. It’s a voice that God gave me. A lot of times my husband, children, and friends marvel at the speed at which my fingers fly across the keyboard even without looking at the letters. Or they marvel at how quickly my pen flies across a journal endlessly.

It’s the way it is for me. While some people say they experience ‘writers block,’ I’m yet to experience the feeling. What I experience is insufficient time in any given day where I’m able to write the words, thoughts that flit through my mind. I have many other responsibilities which have my name written on them.


5. Where do you find your inspiration and motivation to write? Is there a time of day you prefer to write?

I see inspiration in everything. I could see a mustard colored car and a story comes to my mind. It could be the way someone wore their clothes, spoke, smiled,  or didn’t smile. Inspiration just comes. Sometimes I ask God’s Spirit to lead my hands.

I enjoy writing in the wee hours of the morning before my entire household rises, but such opportunity is becoming less. Someday’s I write late into the evening after work and other chores before I knock off to sleep. I normally wake up at 4:00 to 4:30 am and put in an hour either prepping my blog or writing something before I prepare for school runs, work, and the rest of my day.

I’ve learned to write on the goanywhere and anytime, otherwise, I’ll never find enough time during the day to write. My notepad is always ready in my bag and I can tune out if need be and scribble. I scribble all the time. Morning, afternoon, evening, night, sitting, standing, even riding the train or bus.


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Jacqueline Obi-Ikocha

6. What Are Your Most Current Writing Projects? Have You Published Or Are You Planning to Publish Any Work?

Presently, I’m working on a collection of stories, two novels, an inspirational book, and another poetry book. I’ve decided to take them one at a time because it was getting crazy. I want to focus on one work, have it finished, and then move on to other projects.

Out of The Silent Breath is my first published poetry book. I’ve done freelance writing in the past, writing content for others, as well as ghostwriting. However, I’ve decided to focus more on my own works. I still freelance when the right briefs come, but I’m planning on having my second book published by the second quarter of this year.

I honestly haven’t gotten around to submitting my works for external publication. It’s a plan in the pipeline, but for some reason, having my writing published in a magazine or otherwise,hasn’t been a driving point for me. Possibly after my second book, my mind will be more attuned to that.


“. . .[T]he joy of having one’s work published, far outweighs the challenges. The hard work involved in self-publishing, shouldn’t deter anyone.” – Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


7. Can You Briefly Describe The Process You Experienced Publishing Your Work?

To publish in itself is not difficult, yet it isn’t easy either. Being self-published is twice as much the hard work. It includes writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and accounting (etc); however, the joy of having one’s work published, far outweighs the challenges. The hard work involved in self-publishing, shouldn’t deter anyone.

I’ve been writing for a while and sometimes when family or friends read my articles they ask me why I’m waiting to publish them. Getting to the nitty-gritty of choosing the pieces to publish, trying to edit my material, and do all the formatting myself, was where I experienced difficulty.

My days are filled to the brim. I realized that if I had to do everything myself, it would probably take forever. I outsourced the cover production and formatting to a professional. I focused on the writing and marketing; marketing is a big job.

As well, I couldn’t afford professional editing since it doesn’t come cheap, so I sought out beta readers among friends. With that said, I think that having an editor is important, especially when one embarks on writing as a career. Now I am working on a compilation of stories about 40,000 words and also motivational handbook which should hopefully be published in the latter part of this year.

To break my publishing process down:

  • I wrote.
  • Sourced beta readers.
  • Tried to do publishing myself (which took me ages).
  • I then outsourced the book cover, formatting, and uploading to a publishing firm.
  • Now, I’m focusing on marketing.

My poetry book Out of The Silent Breath is 8,660 words of poetry and roughly 82 pages. You can find it on Amazon in Kindle Books here. 


Jacqueline's Poetry Book


7. What is Your Writing Process Like?

I  don’t have a writing process per se. I try to write early in the morning before I get busy with house chores, school issues, and work. Sometimes, it means setting the alarm to wake up at 4:30 am to 5:00 am and work on a story for an hour before my family wake-up.

Throughout the day, I find minutes to center my thoughts and scribble. After dinner when everyone is settled, I blog or write until around 10:00 pm to 10:30 pm, then I retire with the present book I am reading and hopefully, fall asleep within the hour.

I write as the thoughts flow and then edit after. Many times, I find myself rising in the midst of sleep to write something that’s running around in my head.


“My reading and writing is eclectic as my personality.” – Jacqueline Oby- Ikocha


8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing Styles or Genres?

I’ve found that I’m no longer finicky about genres because having read various genres widely, I have learned information from different scenarios. I would actually refer to myself as a cross-genre writer and readerMy reading and writing is eclectic as my personality. For me, it’s what catches my thoughts of the moment. My writing could be descriptive (mainly for poetry), narrative, or persuasive to sway thoughts.

I always read a myriad of books. My book purchases in a month usually encompass books of non-fiction, fiction, poetry, romance, thriller, adventure, motivational, and self-help (etc). I try to keep it balanced.


9. Do You Have Any Advice to Aid Other Writers?

My advice would be: What is that piece of thought and writing that keeps you up at night? Which makes your inner engine rev in anticipation? Don’t give it up!

Some daysit will be hard and almost impossible to find time to sit down and put pen to paper; sit down anyways and type nonsense. Type as the words flow into your mind without any sequence. Each dayfind time to write. The time doesn’t have to be in one huge block, a lot of us don’t have such leisure. You might find a half an hour of concerted flow far outweighs an hour or two without any flow.

As well, never listen to the naysayers and please go with your heart. Fashion your own writing and leave trying to be the next whoever to someone else. Just be you. When you write from within, the writing flows and is far more compelling than trying to imitate someone else. It can be done because your words count.


10. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Writing.

I have no particular favorite piece of writing and I don’t understand why. I’ll share with you several which people have read and enjoyed. I do hope you find my writing pieces interesting:

“I Live In This Space – Personal”

by Jacquline Obi-Ikochi

*****

Black Woman Jacqueline
Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

*****

This is the face that I live in
She stares me in the eye
each minute of my life

I have learnt to know the woman
beneath this oval-shaped
golden-toned and warm face

Her laughter lines and crinkles around the eyes
say life is too short, don’t take yourself too seriously
make the best of it while you can.

The hidden depths of her eye’s
speak of mystery and message that lurks within
they have known the joy and the sting in life’s sharp tails.

This is the face that I live in.
I wouldn’t know how to live in another face.
for this is mine. Mine alone and IT IS beautiful!

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Please Find More Links to Jacqueline’s Writing Below:


Thank you so much to Jacqueline for doing an interview for me on my blog. I would love to interview you too. Please let me know if you’re interested in sharing yourself and your writing. You can reach me on my Contact Page.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Children/YA/Family, Health, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Travel, Writing

Notable Quotes June 2017 Part Two #pinterest #quotes


More quotes for you again, hope you enjoy and remember that just because some quotes say “she” doesn’t mean they can’t apply to “he” in many situations. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Current Events, Health, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Pinterest, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Travel, Writing

Notable Quotes June Part One #pinterest quotes 


Yay! Time for quotes again. Hope you are all well and find a piece of inspiration here from one of these notable lines. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Animals/Pets, Books, Children/YA/Family, Lists, My Thoughts, Nature, Pinterest, Quotes, Writing

Notable Quotes: May 2017 Part 1 #quotes #pinterest


Happy May. Hope you are all loving spring and the coming of summer. It’s a busy month for me, how about you? What’s new? Whatever is happening, here are some more quotes for your thoughts. 
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Current Events, Flash Fiction, Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 28 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/FFftAW: Poem – Skeltonic – “Flippy Cup” #flashfiction #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #poetry


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem using “Skeltonic verse. . .  [which] gets its name from John Skelton, who used short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another.” For A to Z Challenge the GoodReads quote has the letter Y. Also, I’m using the Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer Prompt and thanks to Priceless Joy for that.  

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Credit: Dawn Miller

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I’ve always sucked at games of chance. Always hated them for that reason.” ― Rick Yancey, The Infinite Sea

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You play so wrong

That’s not the right song 

Put on that one song 

That one goes on and on

Now play flippy cup 

We need beer cups 

Then we’ll drink it up

Some plastic red ones

Let’s fill them up some 

Bring the keg dear

Drink up your beer 

Flip up your cup, here

Now down the line clear

Flip your cups, then drink beer  

Down at the end immersed

Drink your beer first 

Quench your intense thirst

Our team wins first

Move down the line 

You’re doin‘ just fine 
Every time a new game

Big red cup for shame 

I’ll fill you up the same

And we’ll keep playing 

More rounds of  flippy cup

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Food/Recipes, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nature, Poetry, Quotes, Sunday Photo Fiction, Triolet - ABaAabAB - 1,4,7 repeat and 2,8 repeat., Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 27 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/SPF: Poem – Triolet – “Taste of Spring” #poetry #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #flashfiction


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is a “challenge . . . to write a poem that explores your sense of taste! This could be a poem about food, or wine, or even the oddly metallic sensation of a snowflake on your tongue.” Also thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction. For the A to Z Challenge, today’s GoodRead’s letter is the letter X. 


SPF Tree, Vines
Credit: John Brand

“I could recognise his soul in mine as much as he could find me in his. Our sole existences seemed to have been for this very moment when nothing else mattered.” X. Williamson (Distract My Hunger)


They air outside was warm, the taste of spring sprung,

Lilacs on my lips, flavor of crisp leaves.

In the garden, scent of spring on my tongue.

The air outside was warm, the taste of spring sprung.

Inhaling soft florals, fragrance in my lungs.

Breathing in and out, tastes chase what I’m grieving.

The air outside was warm, the taste of spring sprung,

Lilacs on my lips, flavor of crisp leaves.


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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Current Events, Etheree - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 syllable count, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, History, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nature, Nonfiction, Poetry, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 25 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Writing Prompt: Poem – Cascading Etherees — “The Urn, Death, and the Light” #poetry #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #WritingChallenge 


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is a “challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space.” For A to Z Challenge the GoodRead’s Quote author has a name beginning with letter V. Im going two work in the Prompt from MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Prompt from last week of a letter to death

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Credit: Tomb of Wayfaring Soul

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It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.” ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

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Such a tiny space I’ve ended in,

No satin lining, pillow, or light. 

Shelved next to others kept, 

Hear in this wall, directed, 

The family not to pay for, 

More than an urn, 

But why, ask I, 

Am I in, 

This wall, 

Left.

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It’s, 

Easy,

To understand, 

You didn’t want me —

Reminding  you, who I —

Used to be alive and whole. 

That my ashes in an urn could,

Easily fall, ending up on the floor. 

I’m wondering death, if you laugh at this? 

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If you comprehend my annoyance clear, 

That my ashes weren’t scattered far  —

Into the park, the Off-leash trails, 

Or into the water, 

To a place of peace. 

No walls for me, 

Take my remains, 

Death, cast them —

To the, 

Wind. 

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At, 

First I, 

Had many, 

Questions, 

But I knew you took, 

All you needed of, 

What was left of me. 

And we’re no longer foes who are — 

Bound to time; so you explain the whys,

Fill in the wherefores, gazing ahead soft. 

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Kingdom of light, love, facing the Heavens,

Death says this is the right place and —

I pray he isn’t wrong, for all —

Is revealed here in the —

House me Father built. 

His mansion with —

Many rooms for —

The faithful, 

Those souls, 

Won. . 

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So, 

Death you —

Have not your, 

Victory. 

Death you have no sting, 

And in eternity, 

All questions are answered, 

Tranquility comes knowing, 

The reason for everything —

The cross on Calvery, God’s love divine. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

100 Word Wednesdays, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Free Verse, History, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nature, Photography/Visual Art, Poetry, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

 Day 24 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/100 Word Wednesday: Poem – Free Verse – “Art of a Story and Death” #NaPoWriMo #AtoZChallenge #100WordWednesday #poetry


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting last week’s #100WordWednesday flashfiction prompt. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is “to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art.” The A to Z Challenge GoodRead’s Prompt begins with the letter U. 

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Credit: Bikurgurl – Her Photograph and work of art for the prompt 🙂

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To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life. Music soothes, the visual arts exhilarates, the performing arts (such as acting and dance) entertain. Literature, however, retreats from life by turning in into slumber. The other arts make no such retreat— some because they use visible and hence vital formulas, others because they live from human life itself. 

― Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet”

(Sorry finding a Q name for this piece impossible but there is Q in Disquiet!)

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The photograph is lovely at first, 

A brilliant blue sky, soft winds of cool breezes, 

The Atlantic still icy, but forgiving. 

Trees rise and guard the home, the lighthouse, 

Ancient ones in slumber as spring yet approaches. 

Rock walls prevent a fall below, to the unforgiving chill. 

Hypothermia comes quickly here, 

But the scenery makes up for the inherent danger. 

Bright pink of the house stands out and the tower above matches, 

Glows in the night when the boats pass by, 

Protecting and guiding ships. 

The long grass still waiting to be verdent, 

Not dry crumpled straw. 

And the owners of the house are silent, keeping to themselves, 

Their only sense of existing, is the light that glares, when outside the tower is dark. 

Spring is slowly birthing, but the ocean’s still freezing, 

And the danger is too real for ships too close.  

And a stranger walking watches from the dim, 

Holding back a dog barking in madness. 

The bulb has burnt out, now disaster is unhinged, 

The ship clips the cliff, the house crumbles and the ship sinks, 

Screams in the night, in the Atlantic’ waters cold numbness. 

And when all is said and done, only the lighthouse stands, 

With a burnt out bulb of fault. 

How can this photograph be a work of art? 

Is there art in dying? 

Or is art and death as a perception, to ambigious to be real? 

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©Mandibelle16. 2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Elevenie - 1 Word - Noun, 2 Word - describes 3 Words - Place, 4 Words describe, 1 Word ends, Fiction, History, MindLoveMisery's Menagerie, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Nature, Poetry, Quotes, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Travel, Writing

Day 23 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/Photo Challenge: Poem – Elevenie – “The Mending Woman” #AtoZChallenge #NaPoWriMo #photochallenge 


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write, “an elevenie. An an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is.”

The A to Z Challenge GoodRead’s prompt is for the letter T. Also thank you to NEKNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s photo challenge. 

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Credit: Source Unknown

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“[F]abrics doesn’t make exquisite dresses, it is the stitches. — Treasure Stitches

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Seamstress,

Sewing powerlines, 

Deserted highway dusk. 

She fixes everything she’s —

Skilled. 

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Highway, 

Snowy, windy,

Middle of countryside 

A giant needle weaves, 

Stitches.

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Seamstress, 

Never pausing, 

Amidst winding roads, 

Fixing energies flow, she’s 

Wired. 

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Fixer, 

Forever career, 

Barren places found,

Mending for others but —

Forlorn.  

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Belongings, 

In backpack, 

Town to Town, 

Igniting power’s wicked spark, 

Gone.

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Hitchhiker, 

Purposeful steps, 

Melting snow puddles, 

Spring follows, winter mended, 

Warmth. 

Mender, 

Stitching problems, 

Walks estranged roads, 

Sewing all problems, she —

Disappears

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Gone, 

Out of —

Sight of strangelands, 

Goes where the wind, 

Blows. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Books, Children/YA/Family, Fairy Tale Themed, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Italian Sonnet - Iambic Pentameter - Octave (abbaabba) - Sestet (cdcdcd), Memories/Childhood, Movie Reviews, My Thoughts, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Sunday Photo Fiction, Writing, Writing Challenges

Day 20 – NaPoWriMo/A to Z Challenge/SPF: Poem – Italian Sonnet – “Dragons and Quiditch” #poetry #AtoZChallenge #NaPoWriMo #flashfiction 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting Sunday Photo Fiction. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to “write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game.” The A to Z Challenge GoodReads quote author’s name begins with the letter Q. 

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Credit: Jade M. Wong

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“Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future. And time future contained in time past.”  ― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets

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Quidditch played above the ground below, I zoom, 

Avoiding bludgers on my sleek broom stick. 

The beaters nearby to keep me safe, I’m slick. 

No one thought to ask why the dragons so loomed, 

Why there coming pronounced such grave doom. 

The chasers zoom ’round, to find the quaffle, 

While the keeper guards the goals, I waffle. 

Snitch in view, I, the seeker on my broom. 

But the roars and the fire reach closer, 

We’re becoming antsy as such fearsome —

Dragons fly into the field, some they screech. 

No one sees, how short a lifetime is made, 

When you’re flying for your life, no exposure, 

If revealed, dragons will take you to keep. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.